Photo Radar in Ontario – Is it a necessity or a cash grab?
A recent consultation by the government shows that Ontarians who favour the photo radar far outweigh those who think otherwise. An overwhelming number of people believe that using cameras to ticket speeding drivers is a great move. However, one in three people says that installing cameras for this purpose is nothing but cash grab. This has become a political issue that can be traced back to the mid-90s when Mike Harris was in office.
The recent consultation was conducted online between September and October in 2019. The result was obtained by CBC Toronto by making a request through the freedom of information. Out of the 217 people who responded to the consultation, 112 were in favour of installing the cameras for added safety. The rest of the respondents, 105, were opposed to the decision.
What people in favour of the photo radar say?
Some of the reasons why people who favour the cameras are:
• They had personal experiences with dangerous drivers who pose a threat to them
• Speeding has become an everyday activity that threatens the most vulnerable pedestrians, which are the kids.
• It is an urgent need which will make roads safer
Why do some think this is a cash grab?
Contrary to the above group of people who cannot wait for the program to begin, there are some who vehemently oppose the decision.
The main reason why they think this is a cash grab is that they think insurance companies will make every opportunity to fleece them.
Another concern by others is that installing these cameras will first start in school zones. Eventually, they will be installed everywhere.
Why is Toronto a latecomer to the photo radar program?
The city of Toronto has been pushing to install the cameras for many years. However, it was a distant dream until very recently. The reason is that the provincial laws required putting up warning signs about the photo radar three months before the cameras are installed.
But since November of last year, the province has allowed community safety zones and school areas to install the cameras. The city will have more power to ticket the erring drivers in areas where the speed limit is 80 km/h or lesser.
Currently, over speeding drivers are issued a warning through the photo radar system. However, from April 2020, fines will be imposed as well. There are about 50 areas where automated speed is enforced in the city of Toronto.